Sunak 1) ‘Don’t sell out Brexit’, the Prime Minister ‘is warned’

“Rishi Sunak has been warned not to “sell out” Brexit after senior Tories attended a cross-party conference that advocated closer ties to the EU. Conservative MPs urged the Prime Minister to hold his nerve and maximise the benefits of leaving the bloc rather than seeking to re-tie Britain to Brussels rules. It comes after reports that Mr Sunak has privately told senior ministers to draw up plans for how to rebuild relations with the EU across a range of policy areas. Senior Tories including Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary, attended a conference at Ditchley Park in Oxfordshire last week on “making Brexit work better”. The discussion was chaired by Lord Mandelson, a former Labour minister, and David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary.” – The Daily Telegraph

  • Lord Frost warns secret summit is further evidence of plot to unravel exit deals and have UK ‘stay shadowing Brussels’ – The Daily Mail
  • Gove ‘denies claims of Brexit betrayal’ – The Sun
  • The ‘secret’ cross-party summit is part of a cynical Remainer plot to derail Brexit – Editorial, The Daily Mail
  • Britain’s scientists look to new horizons – Editorial, The Daily Telegraph
  • A UK government revamp in search of a strategy – Editorial, The Financial Times
  • I find it hard to believe this was an innocent meeting whose only purpose was to apply a little tender loving care to the Brexit process – Stephen Glover, The Daily Mail
  • A Johnson comeback is starting to look inevitable – Iain Dale, The Daily Telegraph

Sunak 2) He is facing a ‘Tory rebellion’ over sewage in UK rivers

“Rishi Sunak is facing a defeat in the House of Lords over his bid to scrap clean water regulations that protect swimmers and wildlife as part of his post-Brexit bonfire of European Union red tape. Peers are preparing to block Government plans to ditch both the Bathing Water Regulations and Water Framework Directive under the new Retained EU Law Bill, which is making its way through Parliament. The legislation aims to remove around 4,000 pieces of EU law from the British statute by the end of the year, in a bid to ensure rules inherited from Brussels do not become an “ageing relic dragging down the UK”. A Lords amendment has been tabled to the Bill to ensure the two clean water regulations…are exempt from the wider cull of European laws.” – The I

  • Water companies are set to avoid ‘disproportionate’ £250 million fines for sewage spills – The Daily Mail
  • We must compel the water industry and its regulators to act – Editorial, The Times

Sunak 3) He ‘stands by Sharp’ as he faces new pressure to resign as BBC chair

“Richard Sharp, the chair of the BBC, is refusing to quit in spite of a verdict by MPs that he made “significant errors of judgment” in failing to declare his role in an £800,000 personal loan secured by Boris Johnson shortly before the then-prime minister recommended him for the post. Prime minister Rishi Sunak was standing by his former boss at Goldman Sachs over the weekend and is waiting to see the outcome of an independent inquiry into the affair. The reprimand by the Commons culture, media and sport committee leaves Sharp in a precarious position, with Labour saying he had damaged the reputation of the BBC and that his position was “increasingly untenable”. Sharp was rebuked by MPs in a report published on Sunday…” – The Financial Times

Truss supporters ‘to offer’ Hunt an ‘alternative low tax Budget’…

“Liz Truss’s allies will hand Jeremy Hunt an alternative low-tax Budget as they ramp up pressure on him to set out a plan for growth, The Telegraph understands. The MPs are set to present him with a blueprint that would slash the burden on businesses over fears Britain has become uncompetitive. It comes after senior Tories warned the Chancellor that a clear majority of backbenchers want to see taxes cut at next month’s Budget. But Treasury insiders are standing firm and insist that reducing levies now “will only fuel the inflation fire” and hinder the UK’s recovery. Prominent business figures, including the Confederation of British Industry, have urged Mr Hunt to bring in new tax breaks to stave off a damaging recession.” – The Daily Telegraph

  • Truss allies on ‘collision course’ with Sunak – The Sun



…as the Chancellor is to ‘speed up approvals’ for nuclear power and offshore wind farms

“Jeremy Hunt is pushing to speed up planning permission for nuclear power plants and offshore wind to boost growth and bring down energy bills. A review ordered by the chancellor last week paved the way for easier approval of big infrastructure projects. Local objections have repeatedly delayed significant schemes and Hunt is understood to be frustrated that even when these concerns have been considered, projects are still pushed back by cumbersome planning rules. The Treasury fears that the struggle to upgrade infrastructure is holding back growth and has voiced concern that “the system has slowed in recent years” with the time taken for approval of big projects increasing by 65 per cent over a decade.” – The Times

  • UK taking ‘big gamble’ on further drop in energy prices, infrastructure expert warns – The Financial Times


Wallace 1) The Defence Secretary is to launch a security review over China spy balloons

“Britain will undertake a security review in the wake of the incursion of Chinese spy balloons into Western airspace, the Defence Secretary has said. Ben Wallace will work with the US and other close partners to analyse intelligence and assess the dangers posed by the balloons. The review will be used to help decide whether any changes need to be made to the surveillance of British airspace. MPs have warned that balloons may have already crossed over the UK, a possibility the Ministry of Defence has refused to rule out. It comes amid increasing fears over the threat from China as the US on Sunday night shot down a fourth suspected spy balloon in just over a week… Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, is under mounting pressure to take a harder line on China.” – The Daily Telegraph

  • Chinese firms ‘face procurement ban’ under tougher laws – The Times

Wallace 2) He ‘presses for’ a big increase in defence spending

“Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, is pressing Jeremy Hunt to increase the defence budget by between £8 billion and £11 billion over the next two years to avoid deep cuts to the armed forces. The Ministry of Defence wants its budget to rise by as much as a fifth to cover the costs of inflation, foreign exchange fluctuations and the higher cost of funding Nato and Ukraine. The Treasury is understood to be resisting the demands, amid concerns that they are unaffordable and would require significant cuts elsewhere, or tax rises. It says existing projects are overrunning by billions of pounds and has highlighted examples of mismanagement during talks about future funding. “The number is extraordinarily high,” one senior government source said.” – The Times

  • We have given so many weapons to Ukraine we can’t defend ourselves – James Whale, Daily Express
  • Obama is lauded for his statesmanship. But it was on his watch that the murderous gangster Putin truly grew emboldened – Dominic Lawson, The Daily Mail

Small boats 1) Nick Timothy: Britain cannot protect its borders within the ECHR. We must leave it.

“The Government’s plan to stop the Channel crossings is simple: those who come to Britain illegally should be detained immediately and deported rapidly, to Rwanda or their home country. Yet human rights laws stand in the way. The High Court has ruled that the Rwanda scheme is lawful, but appeals will come. And while the Court determined that Rwanda is generally safe for deported migrants, individuals can still make claims based on their specific circumstances. This causes a further barrier, for if deportation is not imminent, detention is deemed unlawful too. As ministers work on legislation to resolve the problem, the basis of our human rights laws – the European Convention on Human Rights, policed by its Court in Strasbourg – looms large.” – The Daily Telegraph

  • Rwanda plan would only have ‘marginal’ benefit in stopping Channel crossings, says minister – The Daily Mail

Small boats 2) Mitchell says the Rwanda plan would only have a ‘marginal’ benefit in stopping small boats…

“The plans proposed to send migrants to Rwanda will have only a ‘marginal’ benefit in stopping small boats crossing the Channel, a Conservative government minister has said. MP for Sutton Coldfield, Andrew Mitchell, said the scheme was worth exploring but it wasn’t the ‘whole answer’. The scheme has been mired in legal challenges and so far no flights carrying migrants to the African nation have departed. He also rejected the idea that the UK could withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) over plans to tackle the problem of small boats carrying migrants across the English Channel. On Channel 4’s Andrew Neil Show, Mr Mitchell…said if it was to have ‘any’ benefit, it would not be the ‘whole of the effort we have to make’.” – The Daily Mail

…and that no foreign aid should be sent to China

“Britain should not be sending any foreign aid cash to China, the development minister has insisted. Andrew Mitchell said he was “surprised” to learn £50 million was spent there in 2021 and wants to put a stop to such payments. He added taxpayers’ money could be better used to help other countries rather than the world’s second biggest economy. Beijing has spent tens of billions on its space programme in recent years and has a defence budget more than four times the size of the UK’s. “We shouldn’t be giving aid to China and we’re looking to make sure that aid is best spent,” Mr Mitchell told Sky News… Much of the money funded scholarships for Chinese students to come to the UK, as well as work by the British Council building cultural links.” – The Daily Telegraph


Tavistock gender identity scandal reminds us to stand up for truth, says Badenoch

“Kemi Badenoch, the business secretary, has urged people to use the “tragic Tavistock scandal” to “remind us to always stand up for the truth as we see it” after claims that more than 1,000 children were given puberty blockers at the controversial NHS clinic. The gender identity development service at Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust is set to close this year after a review found that it was not a “safe or viable long-term option”. The clinic in north London has been accused of rushing teenagers into life-altering treatment on hormone-blocking drugs…[In a new book by] Hannah Barnes, a BBC journalist, former clinicians detailed how some “incredibly complex” children were placed on medication after one face-to-face assessment…” – The Times

  • NHS children’s trans clinic accused of peddling unscientific ‘fiction’ to patients in waiting room – The Daily Telegraph

MPs threatened me over gay marriage, says the Archbishop of Canterbury

“The Archbishop of Canterbury claims he was “threatened with parliamentary action” in an attempt to “force same-sex marriage” in the Church of England. The Most Rev Justin Welby said that he was twice summoned to Parliament over the issue as he blamed rising secularism for triggering the historic debate on blessings for gay and lesbian couples. He also warned that the church should not be “dictated to”, “blackmailed” or “bribed” over the issue. His comments come following a landmark vote at General Synod, the Church of England’s legislative body, which last week ruled in favour of the new blessings. The result threatens to divide both the Church of England and worldwide Anglican Communion.” – The Daily Telegraph

Labour and the Tories ‘trade blows’ over government ‘debit card waste’

“Labour has claimed it has unearthed evidence of a “scandalous catalogue of waste” by UK government departments involving the use of taxpayer-funded debit cards, including erroneous descriptions of spending, lavish gifts and end-of-year spending sprees. The party claimed that spending on “government procurement cards” has risen sharply and that in individual cases there has been misreporting of what public money has been used for. It said the Foreign Office wrongly recorded the purchase of thousands of pounds worth of English sparkling wine under headings such as “computer equipment”, “industrial supplies” and “consulting and management”. But the government replied that it was…Labour…that introduced the cards in 1997…” – The Financial Times

Four in 10 Scottish voters think Sturgeon should quit after trans rapist scandal

“Four in 10 voters in Scotland think Nicola Sturgeon should resign immediately, according to a new poll, in a damning verdict on her handling of the trans rapist scandal and her self-identification gender laws. The Panelbase survey…found 42 per cent of respondents thought the First Minister should quit now. Forty-five per cent said she should remain until the 2026 Holyrood election, and 13 per cent said they did not know. Seventy-six per cent of those who expressed a view believed that women’s safe spaces, such as hospital wards and changing rooms, would be jeopardised by Ms Sturgeon’s plans to allow people to self-identify their legal gender. However, 69 per cent said they did not know who should succeed Ms Sturgeon.” – The Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • We are living through a golden age of misogyny – Julie Burchill, The Spectator 
  • Most of the UK is already in recession – Philip Pilkington, UnHerd 
  • Blinded with science? – Alys Denby, CapX
  • Our modern Babylon – Ed West, Wrong Side of History 
  • One Nation underdog: the mirage of the Tory left – Eliot Wilson, The Ideas Lab 

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